Belle Glade (Fla.) native Dominique Gibson was one of the prizes of the Demon Deacon 2012 signing class, and now that he's enrolled at Wake Forest, he's eager to compete and work his way onto the field.
"It's something that I've been waiting on my whole life," Gibson told Deacons Illustrated about enrolling in college. "I did prepare for it, but I'm happy about it. I'm really excited to start my career."
The 5-10 Gibson was listed as an outside linebacker in high school for the purposes of his national rankings, but he's going to play strong safety for the Demon Deacons.
He's currently behind a couple of older Wake players, but Gibson is pumped up about the chance to get on the Demon Deacon practice fields this summer and jockey for position on the depth chart.
Nothing has been promised to Gibson in terms of immediate playing time as a true freshman, but certainly he'll be given every opportunity in August to prove his worth to the Wake coaches.
"Coming in right now I'm third on the depth chart at strong safety, but I'm looking to move my way forward," he said. "That would be great if I could come in and make an impact (right away). Coach (Jim) Grobe and Coach 'Mac (Ray McCartney), they've mentioned it to me, and just to stay focused and be ready, because you don't know when it will be your turn."
One important thing that will help Gibson in his mission to climb Wake's depth chart is the weight he's gained over the past year.
He told us that he's gained considerable muscle mass since his senior season of high school, which should greatly aid his transition into the Demon Deacon secondary.
"I've done a lot of training. I'm up to at least 215 pounds, so I've put on some weight," he said.
Gibson is a talented football player with plenty of skill, but when asked what he plans to bring to the table at Wake Forest, he told us the biggest thing would be a winner's mentality.
"I know how to win. I'm going to bring a winning spirit to the team. There's a lot of guys on that team that know how to win, and I feel that I can fit in and help them (Wake Forest) win," he said.
His transition to Wake Forest should be made easier by the fact that there's no many Florida natives currently playing for the Demon Deacons.
Gibson is looking to be the next Sunshine State product to excel in the Old Gold and Black.
"It makes you feel really good knowing that there's guys that have won from that school from your state and have made it big. So I'm hoping I can be next. I'm planning on being next," he said.
This summer isn't going to be all fun and games as Gibson prepares for the start of his college career, but it's a journey that's been a lifetime in the making.
And he's excited for every step of it.
"It's great to play in the ACC. It's just a great feeling knowing I'm going to compete against top-notch players from around the country," he said.